It is always said that the game is never over till the final whistle and you would be surprised to know how many times this does hold. It is quite amazing how the game is never over till it really is.
We have seen more than our share of games that seemingly have a foregone conclusion, change in a whirlwind. Football is a game that gives fans major heartbeat-skipping moments and creates opportune moments for sports betting. The uncertainty of a game till the end, no matter what the score-line, provides an opportunity for high return bets for low stakes if one can take it on.
Here are some of the most famous comebacks in football history that people still pinch themselves as they find it hard to fathom that these happened.
Angola 4-4 Mali – Africa Cup of Nations (2010)
This was the most unbelievable game and one of the most incredible comebacks seen in football. It is hands down, the greatest comeback in African football history. This was the opening game in the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations as hosts Angola faced off against Mali in the Estadio 11 de Novembro in Talatona.
Angola went up 2-0 in the first half with a brace from the striker, Flavio who headed home in the 36th and 42nd minutes of the game. Left-winger Gilberto made it 3-0 from the penalty spot for the hosts in the 66th minute after being brought down by Bagayoko.
At this point, it looked all but over already for the visitors who looked completely out of sorts and a level lower than their opponents. To add to Mali’s woes, Seydou Keita fouled Gilberto who made the most of the slight contact to go down once again in the box, giving Angola another penalty. This time, Manucho stepped up and made it 4-0 in the 76th minute. There was surely no coming back from here… or was there?
Suddenly, Mali woke up. Seydou Keita found the net in the 78th minute, which seemed like a consolation to pull one back. In the 86th minute, Angola nearly made it 5! Then something incredible happened.
Frederick Kanoute scored in the 88th minute to make it 4-2 but it still seemed like a matter of time for the final whistle. Angola tried to eat time on the clock, but the Malians were relentless. Keita bagged his second in the 3rd minute of stoppage time with just a minute left to play to make it 4-3 with a stunning volley!
You would have thought it was a little too late as there was just a minute left in stoppage time, but it was not to be. Moustapha Yattabare found the equalizer in the dying seconds of the game, completing one of the most unprecedented comebacks in football.
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain – UEFA Champions League (2017)
There is a different charm when it comes to the UEFA Champions League, which is arguably the most entertaining domestic tournament in football. The 2-leg knockouts have always provided fans with a different thrill. The challenge for teams to win at home and then get a result away is what makes it so special.
Barcelona vs PSG was the perfect example of how much of a difference home advantage can make. Barcelona was terrible in the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 back in 2017 when they got trounced by the Parisians 4-0. After an underwhelming performance, most thought that it was the end of Barcelona’s campaign but a betting man would never want to go against Lionel Messi and this was a great opportunity to make money potentially by backing the Catalans to go through.
It turned out to be a dream for sports betting. Barcelona took an early lead in the second leg at the Camp Nou with Luis Suarez finding the net in the 3rd minute. A Laywin Kurzawa own goal made it 2-0 for the home side and the comeback looked very possible. Lionel Messi made it 3 with a 50th-minute penalty and they were within one of turning this tie on its head.
However, calamity struck soon after and Edinson Cavani scored for Paris as they made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute. This took the aggregate score to 3-5, which meant that Barcelona would have to score 3 unanswered in 28 minutes plus added time to qualify for the quarterfinals. Scoring 2 would have taken them level on aggregate but given the “away goal rule” in football where whichever team scores more goals away from home over a two-leg tie qualifies meant that Paris would go through since Barcelona had failed to score in France.
PSG parked the bus and sat back to not allow Barcelona to score as all they needed was to not concede 3 goals to qualify. The strategy paid off till the 88th minute and they were almost home when Neymar found the net with a wonderful freekick to make it 4-1 (4-5 on aggregate). Panic seemed to set into PSG’s defence and they began to slowly choke and crumble under the pressure as they conceded a penalty in the first minute of stoppage time that Neymar converted to make it 5-5 on aggregate.
It suddenly seemed like the remaining 4 minutes of stoppage time were more than enough for Barcelona to find goal number 6 that would take them through and for the PSG players, the longest 4 minutes of their lives. It was to be the case. Sergi Roberto scored from a Neymar cross in the end moments of the game to complete a miraculous comeback to win 6-1 and 6-5 on aggregate.
Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich – UEFA Champions League Final (1999)
When the talk of the greatest comebacks in sports history comes up, this game is one that can never be left out. It is the most unbelievable story in football that capped off a dream season. Manchester United was the first and only English team to have won the treble when they defeated Bayern Munich in Barcelona’s Camp Nou in the UEFA Champions League final in 1999.
It was not just the comeback that made this win special. It was what the team had in store and purely encapsulated how their season went. You could not have written a better script. United already had some stunning comebacks in the 1998/99 season. The first was against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final, the second was in the Champions League itself against a mighty Juventus who were favourites to win the tournament. With this Manchester United team, it seemed like you just knew there was something and they would find a way.
United sealed the Premier League trophy and the FA Cup before flying to Barcelona for the Champions League final. With history beckoning, they knew they had an uphill task against the Germans. Munich was dominant and on top for most of the game, very much like the way Juventus’ players seemed to be a level above in the semi-final.
Bayern Munich took the lead with a Mario Basler freekick early in the 6th minute of the game. The Bavarians came close to increasing their lead on a couple of occasions hitting the woodwork, but the footballing Gods seemed to be on the English team’s side.
United dug deep as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side always did. The game was already into the first minute of stoppage time when David Beckham stepped up to take a corner kick that was put in by substitute, Teddy Sheringham.
Munich’s heart sank and the Red Devils started to believe again. This was their destiny, it seemed. They were not wrong. A minute later, United won a corner again and the ball fell kindly to Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer, the super sub, who poked the ball into the top net to complete the most incredible comeback in the history of football.